CHENNAI : Established in 2009 with a vision to offer multiple skill-based activities under one roof, Kalaa Manjari, an after-school activity centre, celebrated its 10th anniversary, recently. On the occasion, they also organised an exhibition, displaying artworks by children aged between four and 16 years.“Being a mother of two, I always wanted my kids to learn different skills. But for that, I had to drop them in different places and that is how I came up with this idea. Kalaa Manjari offers art classes, shloka and Carnatic classes, keyboard and guitar classes, chess, public speaking, karate, western dance and written communication, all under one roof,” said Jayashree Chinne Narayanan, who runs the place.
She said, “All the children have an inborn talent and these need to be nurtured with love and care. In today’s highly competitive world, to have a holistic development, kids need to develop skills that they can use at any age and we strive to do just that.”The art exhibition was divided into four categories — junior, foundation, basic and intermediate. While art in the junior category was made with colour pencils, oil pastels were used in foundation, paints in basic, and cartoons and comics in intermediate categories.
“We begin with colour pencils because a child who is in the age group of four to five will also be using pencils in their school. This will help him/her better their grip. Fine motor skills will start developing and indirectly, help their handwriting,” said Jayashree.
Explaining how art helps, 16-year-old Shanmitha Sunder said, “We are never given drawings to replicate. We are given a theme and we have to create an image. This has helped me a lot in creative writing competitions at school and also in the English literature exam where we have to write essays.”Over the years, many celebrities have been a part of Kalaa Manjari’s activities including Aishwarya Dhanush, Krishnamachari Srikanth, S Ve Sekar, Thejo Menon and Jyotika.